The Bright Side of COVID-19: 5 Positive Effects of The Pandemic

Oct 31, 2021   |   Schermaine Choo

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Covid-19 came and surprised us, impacting the world in ways more than one. Whilst it may have come with its downsides – the loss of careers, drop in economy and the impact on long-distance relationships, it has also come with great benefits. So here are five positive effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

1. Healthier Lifestyles

Trapped in our own homes, with gyms and physical fitness classes disrupted, coupled with the boredom of doing nothing, many have turned to doing home workouts. Using YouTube fitness guides or other free applications such as Freeletics, keeping fit at home has never been easier.

In addition, people are now more aware of the importance of practicing good hygiene. From covering our mouths when we cough to sanitizing our hands whenever we can – especially before a meal, it is more evident that the world has now learned the importance of hygiene.

Other than hygiene, people are also more conscious of their relationships. As many activities and events were cancelled due to the pandemic, we find ourselves with more time on our hands. This in turn gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate our relationships and invest more time in our family and friends.

Some may see it as a pro or con but long-distance relationships are also more common now. As travel has been restricted, many have taken to Zoom, MS Teams or even Discord to spend time with their significant other while staying home. This has been a catalyst in creating deeper emotional bond between partners as more emphasis is placed on getting to know the other person significantly deeper on the emotional front, due to the absence of physical contact.

2. Rise of home-based businesses

Due to the loss of jobs for many from the pandemic, many have turned to opening a Home-based Business to earn their salary. From selling Popiahs to desserts to even teaching online classes, the increase of home-based businesses in Singapore is prominent.

The options of cashless payment methods have also made it much easier for home-based business owners to collect payment as well without compromising their health and safety.

‘During the circuit breaker, more than three in five small businesses on Facebook in Singapore had made at least 25 per cent of the past month’s sales digitally, company data found.’ – The Business times

3. Improvement in the environment

In terms of air quality and water pollution, it has greatly improved in many countries. With the implementation of lockdown due to Covid-19, the driving of cars and many industrial activities ceased. This led to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and waste disposal from industries. Greenhouse gas sharply declined by 2.4 billion tons in 2020, a 7% decrease from 2019 and the largest decline on record according to new research from the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter and the Global Carbon Project.

If this keeps up, climate change can be combated and tackled. However, as the pandemic weakens, it is likely that greenhouse gas emissions will rebound once again. In order to reduce the impact, the public has to keep up with small green habits such as using reusable containers, walking instead of driving to nearby areas and turning off the lights when not in use. After all, ‘it’s the little things that matter’.

4. Drop in Crime Rates

While scam cases have risen since the pandemic, the overall crime rates have dropped – especially for physical cases.

Since 2019, theft and its related crime rates have dropped 33.1% in Singapore, from 11,128 cases in 2019 to 7,448 cases. Outrage of modesty cases have also fallen by 17.8 per cent in 2020 from 2019. Other crimes such as housebreaking also dropped by 24.9 per cent since 2019.

With the pandemic, working from home is much more common and no longer a surprise. This has resulted in a reduction of vehicles on the road as not as many people drive to work anymore. The reduction of traffic has brought about a fall in fatalities caused by traffic accidents and drunk driving.

5. Improvement in medical facilities

Thanks to the pandemic, medical facilities found loopholes in their systems. Governments are investing more money to improve medical facilities. A pledge of $3.5 billion to support COVID-19 was made from the U.S. Agency for International Development. In Africa, the Mastercard Foundation has announced a $1.3 billion investment over the next three years to boost vaccine drive in Africa. These efforts have helped boost the system whilst strengthening it, allowing us to take a step closer to normalizing living with the pandemic.

After going through the pandemic, Governments, Hospitals, and citizens are now more ‘trained’ and prepared on how to act in the case of similar situations in the future.

The pandemic has caused many problems for us, but we tend to overlook the positive effects it has given us. Even with the positives, it is up to us to uphold the positives it has created such as keeping up a healthy lifestyle, taking care of the environment and to support home-based businesses. As the saying goes, “With bad, comes good” and we just need to take it in our stride and keep our chin up.